Government of Canada increases marine shipping penalties to a maximum of $250,000 per violation

News release

April 15, 2024           Ottawa, Ontario           Transport Canada

As a maritime nation, Canadians across the country rely on marine shipping to deliver goods in a safe and efficient way. Whether it’s new or improved legislation, scientific research, jobs or targeted investments in training, infrastructure and equipment, the Oceans Protection Plan is making shipping safer, and making a difference across the country.

Today, the Minister of Transport, Pablo Rodriguez, announced that the value of monetary penalties for violations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 has been increased from a maximum of $25,000 to a new maximum of $250,000.

The revised penalties are structured into three levels: minor, medium, and serious and reflect the seriousness of the violation. Minor violations are administrative in nature and pose no threat to public safety or the environment; medium violations apply to situations when regulations around pollution response are not followed, but may not pose a large threat to people or the environment; and serious violations are those that endanger human health or the environment, or involve destroying documents or obstruction of authority.

Examples of minor violations include:

  • a Master of a vessel failing to notify the Minister of Transport prior to entering a shipping safety control zone
  • vessels carrying dangerous goods not holding the appropriate Document of Compliance

Examples of medium violations include:

  • cheating on an examination to obtain a maritime document
  • a person possessing a maritime document not issued to them

Examples of serious violations include:

  • not storing compressed gas in separate compartments from other types of compressed gas
  • discharging of cargo residues in polar waters in certain conditions

The Oceans Protection Plan is a Canadian success story. When Indigenous Peoples, industry, communities, scientists, and government work together to protect our people and environment, grow our economy, and support good jobs across the country, we deliver real results.


“We’re serious about the safety of our waters and the well-being of Canadians, and that’s why we’re introducing these amendments and raising the maximum penalty. This is another step we’re taking through Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan to make sure our coasts and waterways are safe for generations to come."

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The Canada Shipping Act, 2001, enables the use of administrative monetary penalties up to $250,000 to enforce the Act and its regulations. The Administrative Monetary Penalties and Notices (CSA 2001) Regulations (AMPNR) designate specific provisions of the Act and its regulations as violations subject to monetary penalties and sets the penalty range for each violation.

  • The previous maximum of $25,000 per violation was set in 2008. The new maximum penalty amount is the result of approved legislative amendments to the Administrative Monetary Penalties and Notices (CSA 2001) Regulations. This new maximum reflects the Government of Canada’s ongoing efforts to strengthen Canada’s marine safety system by deterring lawbreakers.

  • Transport Canada constantly inspects and monitors the marine shipping industry and activities to ensure that the regulations are being followed and takes action if there is non-compliance. These regulatory amendments strengthen administrative monetary penalties, which are a key tool in Transport Canada’s enforcement toolbox. Other enforcement tools include written warnings, canceling or suspending licences and permits, and pursuing criminal prosecution.

  • These penalties are distinct from criminal prosecution, which are used to address the most serious cases of non-compliance and can result in a fine of up to $1 million and/or imprisonment of up to 18 months.

Associated links


Laura Scaffidi
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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